Every successful business is guided by a vision, a mission, values and a “why” (or purpose). Contrary to popular belief, business isn’t only about turning a profit. Sure, profitability is important, but companies are born out of a passion or a desire to solve problems. hether you’re launching a new start-up or growing an existing business, it’s important to define your vision, mission, values and purpose. How you define these key important things will guide your decisions and goals.
In order to define your vision, mission, values and purpose, you have to understand what each one is and why it’s important.
Your vision is your ultimate goal. What does your company hope to achieve over the long-term? What do you hope your company will look like in the future?
Every company should have a vision statement that clearly defines this goal. Your vision should be:
- A reflection of your company’s culture
As an example, let’s look at Microsoft Corp.’s vision:
To create local opportunity, growth and impact in every community and country around the world.
That’s a bold vision, but it has guided the company and helped them reach their goals. After all, Microsoft has likely had an impact on most communities and countries across the world.
It’s important not to confuse your vision with your mission or purpose. Your vision simply states, “this is what we envision for our company in the future.”
Why It’s Important
Your company’s vision statement is crucial because it defines the purpose of your business and serves as a benchmark. It’s one you can look at history to see if you’re working towards your ultimate goal. Without a vision, your business has no clear direction.
How to Define Your Vision
Your vision statement is profoundly personal and entirely unique to your business. In order to define it, you must understand:
- Your goals
- Your values
Your vision should be clear and focused on the future (think 10-15 years). It’s also essential to have established timeframes for reaching your milestones and your ultimate goal. When do you expect to achieve your vision?
Once you have defined your vision, revisit it regularly to make sure that you’re on the right track.
A company’s mission further defines its purpose, inspiring and motivating others to get involved. Additionally, your mission should include your corporate strategy.
Your mission will serve several purposes. First, it’s a source of motivation to drive your employees forward and get them excited about what you’re doing. Second, it also gives investors peace of mind that you have a plan for the company’s future.
Why It’s Important
A company’s mission supports its values, and it also provides direction for employees, vendors, customers and your stakeholders. It explains what you do, why you do it, and how you do it.
Potential investors often refer to mission statements to ensure that a company’s values are aligned with their own.
Needless to say, your mission is critical. Large corporations dedicate a great deal of time and resources to defining their mission because it impacts virtually every aspect of the business.
How to Define Your Mission
When defining your mission, consider the purpose of your business and why your company exists.
- What does your company do?
- How does your company do what it does? Don’t focus on the technical details here. Focus on your values. Are you sustainable? Are you focused on quality or innovation?
- Why does your company do what it does? What sets you apart from others?
Like your vision, your mission should be concise and clear.
Your vision and mission define your company’s purpose. Your values support your vision and mission while ensuring that your employees are working toward the same goal.
Your company’s core values define your company culture and will have a significant impact on your strategy.
Simply put, your company’s values are its:
Your values should drive everything that you do, and everyone in the organization must be on board with following these values.
Why It’s Important
Your company’s values will guide your business decisions. Does this move align with your values? Yes? Let’s consider it further. No? Let’s go in a different direction.
If your business doesn’t have clearly defined core values, how can you build the team you envision and reach your goals?
When your values are clearly defined, employees know what you stand for. That can help you attract top-tier talent. An estimated 46% of job seekers believe company culture is essential when choosing an employer. Why? Because your values define your company culture and the way you do things.
How to Define Your Values
There’s no right or wrong way to define your values. The most important thing is to ensure that your values are clear and convey the things that your company stands for.
Values should be actionable and concise. Here are some examples of company values:
When developing your values, consider:
- What’s most important to you?
- What guides you when making difficult decisions?
- Are these values that you will still believe in 5 or 10 years from now?
- Can you apply these values to all areas of your business?
Generally, values are written as “we” statements, which underpins the idea that everyone in the organization must be guided by these values.
A company’s “why” is its purpose. It’s the reason they do what they do. Your vision, mission and values help define your why.
Your why is also what sets you apart from others and inspires you to get out of bed to continue with your mission.
Why It’s Important
What is a business without a purpose? Your “why,” like your vision, mission and values, will guide your business decisions and apply to everything your business does.
How to Define Your “Why”
The idea of finding and defining your why is primarily attributed to Simon Sinek, author and inspirational speaker. Leaders and corporations across the world have embraced this concept of finding their “why.” Defining your own isn’t as complicated as you may think.
According to Simon, your why should be:
His “why” statement format is simple:
- To _ so that _
Fill in the blanks with your own ideas.
Our own “why” is simple:
To help Growth-Focused owners create Highly-Profitable companies that people love!
For a business to grow and thrive, it must have a clear vision, mission, values and why. All of these work together to define the purpose of a company’s existence, its goals, how it will reach its goals and its purpose.
Do you need help defining your vision, mission, values and why? We can help.Mission, Vision